TOP 100 Artists/Bands of all Times : 51 – 55

We are going further to greatness every day! Enjoy the remaining artists of our TOP 100 before getting to the upper half very soon.

55. Pixies

 from : Boston, MA, USA / first great sounds : 80’s / style : Lynchian screaming melodic rock/ essential albums : Surfer Rosa (1988) , Doolittle (1989)

In a long line of American bands simultaneously influenced by their elders and extremely influential on more bands to come, the arrival of Pixies at the end of the 80’s came as a shock as one was not familiar with such a mix of pop melodies held at the top of his lungs by Black Francis, counterbalanced by the groovy bass of Kim Deal and the inventive guitar sounds of Joey Santiago. Their production was quite limited (four albums) but their music sounds as fresh today as it used to. They still tour regularly and are excellent most of the time, despite the passing of time and a few pounds too many!

54. James Brown

 from : Barnwell, SC, USA  / first great sounds : 50’s / style : the Godfather of Soul / essential album : Live at the Apollo (1963), Startime (Boxset – 2007)

The hardest working man in show business, famous for fining his musicians when he considered they deserved it for errors made on stage, for beating his wives, for having spent many years in jail, for being quite cynical regarding money, might not have been the best person ever. But who cares when art is concerned? Man of many musical decades and many genres within Soul/Funk, leader of fantastic bands of musicians throughout his career, inventor of the “funky drummer” sound (hello The Stone Roses), most sampled man ever in the hip hop community, here is for what he should be remembered for. “Can I take it to the bridge?”

53. Shearwater

 from : Austin, Texas, USA / first great sounds : 00’s / style : beautiful American rock / essential albums : Rook (2008), Animal Joy (2012) / Click for more on the blog

Not a surprise for those who regularly follow this blog as once more I do not understand why this band is not bigger than they are right now. Great melodies and powerful American music with a feel of heroic European post-punk influences, I can only recommend you any of their albums and to go see them live if you have an opportunity. Do not miss to listen to Jonathan Meiburg’s beautiful voice.

52. U2

1986zabriskie from : Dublin, Ireland / first great sounds : 80’s  / style : the creme de la creme of stadium rock  / essential albums : The Unforgettable Fire (1984), The Joshua Tree (1987), Achtung Baby (1991)

A weird rank I know for such a band as either you hate them and do not want to hear about them or you are a über-fan and put them on the top of the list. I am one to get an intermediary opinion about them. I must admit being one strong hater of Bono when he mixes his position with a “war is bad, help Desmond Tutu” attitude and but once more, who cares when at the end of the day only the music counts. One really realizes how great this band is when seeing them live and hearing all these amazing anthems.

51. The Velvet Underground

 from : New York, NY, USA / first great sounds : 60’s  / style : guitar rock bands godfathers / essential albums : The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967), White Light, White Heat (1968), The Velvet Underground (1969), Loaded (1970) / Click for more on the blog

THE BAND that influenced thousands of them. If you like your indie rock, you necessarily are a Velvet Underground fan. Band of two leaders at the start (Lou Reed and John Cale), supported first by their mentor Andy Warhol, they never got any popular success in their living time as the American mood was more a hippy one at that moment and people were not ready for acid words and dissonance. Their four LP’s are indispensable and are such a pleasure to discover again and again.

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